As a board certified, registered art therapist, and member of the American Art Therapy Association, I have been trained in both art and therapy and hold a masters degree in Art Therapy. I am also a licensed professional counselor and a member of the American Counseling Association. I work with children, adolescents and adults, providing services to individuals, families, groups and communities. While practicing professional counseling and art therapy, I have been fortunate in witnessing the healing that takes place through the creative process. Many of my clients have experienced a high degree of confllict resolution and self-awareness through the combination of art making and verbal therapy involved in the process of art therapy. Art therapy can help make healing easier for children and others who find it difficult to talk about conflicts they are facing. Making art becomes an additional means of expression that can result in insight and healing.
I have found that participants in art therapy view art making as relaxing and fun. Important issues seem less threatening when they are one step removed in the form of a drawing, painting, or sculpture. Artistic ability is not necessary for this process to take place. Any form of self expression using the art materials will provide the opportunity for the participant to find resolutions to conflicts and become more self-aware. The art therapist can assist the participant to move from non-verbal expression through art making to verbal communication. Concerns and conflicts can then be further explored. Art has been viewed throughout history as a means of understanding the human condition. When it is combined with therapy, our self-awareness and knowledge can be greatly enhanced.